Towards quantification of adhesion and water stripping in bituminous materials using modern surface energy theory Conference Paper uri icon


  • Establishing adhesion between bitumen and aggregate is a fundamental prerequisite to good performance of asphalt mixtures. Debonding of bitumen from aggregate due to displacement by water is known as stripping. Although stripping can be largely attributed to interfacial relations between the component materials, attempts to place this on a quantitative level have had limited success. This paper introduces a thermodynamic approach, based on modern surface energy theory, with the potential to quantify adhesion and water stripping of bituminous materials as part of a more fundamental materials design process. The theory developed by van Oss, Chaudhury and Good forms the basis of this approach. The importance of identifying efficient and reliable techniques for surface energy characterization is emphasized and several techniques are briefly discussed. Apart from techniques that have been investigated, the authors recommend a research focus on microcalorimetry, dynamic vapor sorption, and electrophoreses. Furthermore, three potential areas of application are highlighted and illustrated, including: selection of compatible materials; evaluation of stripping potential; and the use of surface energy properties as part of the performance modelling process. Although this approach offers many advantages, the current theory needs further evaluation and possible modification for application to bitumen-aggregate systems.

published proceedings

  • 24th Annual Southern African Transport Conference, SATC 2005: Transport Challenges for 2010

author list (cited authors)

  • Hefer, A., & Little, D.

complete list of authors

  • Hefer, A||Little, D

publication date

  • November 2005